File this under “Double U” for Upbeat Updates.
Do you remember the Los Osos family that was enjoying a quiet night at home when an alleged drunken driver crashed into their cars in their driveway, sending them smashing through their garage door and house?
No? A brief backgrounder: Early last month, Walt and Martha Lewis had their house used for destruction derby by a woman who was later arrested on drunken-driving charges. As it turned out, the Lewises had both been out of work for a year before Walt got a job two weeks before the crash. His employer had given him a new Prius as a work-related car. And, yes, the Prius was one of two cars that got crunched in the accident.
Ouch. How do you explain that one to your new boss?
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In addition to the cars, garage door and house, a fence and landscaping were also casualties.
Here’s the update from Martha: “Our family has been blessed beyond belief (following the crash). The local pet store gave us $160, a stranger from Arroyo Grande sent $50, and a stranger stopped by my door and gave me $20.
“Neighbors have offered their cars. One of my (previous) day care kids’ parents gave us a check for $100, and a parent from a day care I had in Eureka sent us $50. One of Kendi Roots’ son’s friends gave us an Easter plant with an egg filled with a $20 bill. A family brought us dinner. Two friends bought us groceries; another friend 2 pounds of coffee.
“My heart is filled with gratitude and thankfulness from the outpouring of my friends, neighbors and community.
“The heart of Los Osos is showing, and it’s a wonderful change from what we always see in the paper about our community and the split over the sewer. We are truly a giving community.
“Again, thank you so much for your support and kindness.”
On to another update: Do you remember the San Luis family whose two dogs got out of a fenced backyard, only to get hit on Los Osos Valley Road?
No? A brief backgrounder: The Frice family — Mark and Natalie and their children Carly, 16, Ethan, 11, and Garrett, 19, “a starving student” in college in Cleveland — adopted Mia and Lucy from the animal shelter. (As an ironic sidebar: Our animal shelters are overcrowded with pets that owners can no longer afford due to the economy. And, although the Frices are a self-described “paycheck-to-paycheck” family, they sacrificed to adopt Mia and Lucy — who were probably impounded as economic casualties.)
Anyway, after the dogs were hit, they were taken to Edna Valley Veterinary Clinic, where Lucy was treated for hip and head trauma. Mia, unfortunately, suffered a more severe hip injury, one that required surgery.
When Dr. Jeff Alwen told the Frices that surgery would cost some $5,000, the heartbroken family said they couldn’t afford it and that Mia would have to be put down.
So Alwen and staff performed the surgery on their own dime.
“We’ll do anything to save a healthy and nice animal,” he said at the time. “This family was in a bad position with two nice dogs that had some bad things happen to them.”
That’s where you readers, once again, stepped up with your humanity and generosity. “A couple of thousand dollars, at least,” was sent to the clinic to offset the surgery’s cost, Alwen said.
Talk about a double-dose of kindness.
There’s a third update that I’ll share with you in my next column, one that may put money in your pockets, food on your table and reduce monthly utility costs, among a host of other tips on how to make do in a tough economy.
Yet another empathetic reader, Bonnie Allen, passed on the tips and suggestions after she read about the once respective plights of the Lewis and Frice families.
Bill Morem can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 781-7852.